Your questions answered: 9 more things you wanted to know about visualization

4 minute read

You had questions – we have answers. Attendees of our latest Secrets of Direct Mail webinar, “Visualizing Data,” had so many questions that we only had time to answer a handful of them live. That’s why we’ve set out to answer the most-popular yet-to-be answered questions with presenters Anthy Mitoulas and Steven White. Read on for their insights into the Canada Post Visualization tool.

Questions and answers

How and from where do you collect customer information (data) and how reliable is it?

Data is only valuable when you can turn it into actionable insights – and that’s not always an easy task. Ultimately, the better the data you have, the clearer the picture you can formulate about your audience.

That said, when we are talking about the Visualization tool, we are not really collecting new information. We are using data you already have access to and overlaying it onto a map. Those data sources are seemingly endless. They could include first-party data, straight from you; third-party data, from companies like Environics or Pelmorex; government data, from places like Statistics Canada; and Canada Post proprietary data.

All that data is integrated within the tool and presented in a clean, clear format. By visualizing it, we can have in-depth discussions and identify actionable insights.

What sort of security is used to protect customer data in the Visualization tool?

Any data associated with the Visualization tool meets and aligns with Canada Post security policies for data protection. All results of the tool are password protected and exclusive to your business.

Are customer privacy regulations different across the country?

Canadian privacy laws and regulations are handled at both the federal (e.g., The Privacy Act and The Personal Information Protection and Electric Documents Act) and provincial levels. For marketing purposes, there is little difference from province to province. However, cross-border marketing can be a different story. For example, Canada and the United States have drastically different laws and approaches to personal data privacy. A Canada Post expert can help you understand the privacy landscape clearly.

How exactly does third-party mobile data work?

Mobile data has become an exciting and informative standard in the industry. Mobile data uses GPS, radio-frequency identification (RFID), Wi-Fi, or cellular data to build a virtual fence, or geofence, around a specified location – such as one of your stores. It then records the appearance of every phone which enters that location. This data then gets aggregated to the postal code and incorporated into the Visualization tool.

Is it only available for Canada Post Personalized MailTM or is it available for Canada Post Neighbourhood MailTM, too?

Right now, our Visualization tool is only available for Neighbourhood MailTM. Further expansion of the tool is a possibility. Hopefully more to come on this in the future!

Watch our Secrets of Direct Mail “Visualizing Data” webinar on demand today.

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Can this tool help me if I work in a very specific industry (senior living home, home-based care, non-profits, food banks, B2B, small businesses, home-based businesses, etc.)?

When it comes to industry-specific questions, our team understands best practices and can help. Have a discussion with your Canada Post sales representative. They have seen what works, and what doesn’t, and can help you avoid common pitfalls. Don’t have a rep? Connect with a member of the team.

Are you able to target rural areas?

Definitely. If it has a postal code, we can target it for you. Keep in mind, rural areas cover a vast area compared to denser suburban and urban regions. Rural targeting can be challenging for marketers depending on your targeting criteria.

8 Are QR codes effective in direct mail campaigns?

Absolutely. Consumers demanding easy, touchless interactions in their everyday encounters have revived the QR code. Simple to create, accessible to all and popular across generations, QR codes are now getting a second look from marketers determined to make meaningful and unique connections with consumers. They work because they make a physical piece of mail both trackable and measurable. It now has life beyond print and links itself to a digital resource. It’s the best of the online and offline worlds.

What did Dr. Green learn that influenced their choices for the second year of their campaigns?

My ‘ah-ha’ moment came when I saw how demographic data and geolocation identified our best potential customers right down to the route level of some of the awesome postal codes we have.

Lee Ratcliffe


Dr. Green

Dr. Green used Canada Post’s Visualization tool to evaluate each mailing and optimize targeting based on the best opportunity to grow its customer base.

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